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Not Discussing End-Stage Disease Prolongs Futile, Costly, and Painful Care
Health Leaders Media

Doctors need to do a much better job promptly communicating with terminally ill patients and families about the usefulness of aggressive treatments, but they lack a simple evaluation tool that would provide guidance to launch those talks.

That’s according to a study by Anne M. Walling, MD, a UCLA physician, and her colleagues at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and RAND Corp., which found that “even after 48 hours in the intensive care unit or on the ventilator, more than half of patients had no medical record documentation about goals of care or an attempt to pursue the topic.”